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Supervision

This chapter explores the extent to which the specialist family violence response workforce felt satisfied with both the quality of support provided by their supervisors and managers, and the quality of professional supervision provided to them by internal and external supervisors.

Overall, the results indicated that workers in the specialist family violence response workforce were satisfied with the quality of support provided to them by their supervisor or direct manager, and that having the opportunity to regularly discuss both their work and their professional development were key drivers of this satisfaction.

Additionally, this workforce was also broadly satisfied with the quality of professional supervision that they received, particularly with external supervisors (from outside of their organisation).

As illustrated in Figure 6, three-quarters of the specialist family violence response workforce reported that they were satisfied with the quality of supervision provided by their supervisor or manager (75%). Few were dissatisfied (14%).

three-quarters of the specialist family violence response workforce reported that they were satisfied with the quality of supervision provided by their supervisor or manager (75%). Few were dissatisfied (14%).
Figure 6: Overall satisfaction with support provided by supervisor / manager.

Additionally, many respondents agreed that:

  • they have regular opportunities to discuss their work with their supervisor / direct manager (84%, see Figure 7); and
  • their supervisor / direct manager encourages and supports their participation in family violence related learning and development or training opportunities (84%).

Though still fairly high, specialists were less likely to feel that they had regular opportunities to engage in reflective practice1, with 67% agreeing that this was the case.

Many respondents agreed that they have regular opportunities to discuss their work with their supervisor / direct manager (84%) and their supervisor / direct manager encourages and supports their participation in family violence related learning and development or training opportunities (84%).
Figure 7: Support / opportunity provided by manager

To determine what was most important in influencing the overall levels of satisfaction with support provided by supervisors/managers amongst this workforce, regression analysis was undertaken. The results suggest that the most influential drivers of satisfaction were having regular opportunities to discuss both their work generally, and their professional development.

  • Satisfaction with the quality of supervisory / managerial support differed by some demographic cohorts:

    • Age – younger members of the workforce (aged under 35) were generally more satisfied with the quality of support provided by their supervisor or direct manager than their colleagues aged 35 years or older (77% versus 68%-75% of those aged 35-54 and 55+).
      • A similar trend was reflected in relation to years of experience, with a general reduction in overall satisfaction reported as years of experience in their current role increased.
    • Organisation type – see Table 3 for details.

Professional supervision

  • For the purposes of the Census, professional supervision is defined as:

    • supervision aimed at developing a practitioner’s clinical awareness and skills in recognising and managing personal responses, value clashes and ethical dilemmas
    • 69% of the specialist family violence response workforce reported that they receive professional supervision in their current role
    • 26% indicated that they were responsible for providing such supervision.2
  • Professional supervision was most commonly provided by this workforce through individual / one-on-one sessions (70% of those who provided supervision did so in this way), while 28% provided both individual and group supervision. Just 2% provided supervision for groups only.

    Most respondents who indicated that they provide professional supervision had been trained to provide such supervision (80%), though one-in-five had not received such training (20%). Furthermore, the majority provided supervision to either 1-5 staff (56%) or 6-10 staff (32%). A relatively small but notable proportion provided supervision to over 11 staff (12%).

  • Professional supervision was most commonly received by this workforce via a line manager (73%), though several also received professional supervision from an individual other than their line manager, with:

    • 37% indicating that they received supervision from an external supervisor from outside their organisation; and
    • 27% indicating that they received supervision from another internal supervisor.

    Responses also suggested that all three supervisor cohorts were most likely to provide supervision through individual / one-on-one sessions (62%-98%), though external supervisors from outside of the organisation were more likely than internal supervisors to provide group sessions (55% of external supervisors, versus 14%-36% of line managers and other internal supervisors).

    When asked about how often they received professional supervision, most indicated that this occurred at least every 2 months (93%).

    • Respondents were most likely to report that this occurred between once a fortnight and once a month (41%) or between once a month and once every two months (36%). Thirteen percent also received supervision weekly to fortnightly.

    As illustrated in Figure 8, this workforce was most satisfied with the quality of professional supervision provided by external supervisors (from outside of their organisation). However, it should be noted that satisfaction with internal supervisors was also high for many respondents (76%-78% were satisfied with line managers or other internal supervisors).

    this workforce was most satisfied with the quality of professional supervision provided by external supervisors (from outside of their organisation). However, it should be noted that satisfaction with internal supervisors was also high for many respondents (76%-78% were satisfied with line managers or other internal supervisors).
    Figure 8: Satisfaction with quality of professional supervision received. Base: Respondents who had received professional supervision from a line manager / internal supervisor / external supervisor

    Results differed by years of experience – as was the case regarding satisfaction with their direct supervisor/manager, there was a general reduction in overall satisfaction with professional supervision as years of experience in respondents’ current role increased

Key results by organisation type are shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Key results by organisation type:

% Satisfied with the quality of…

Organisation type Overall support provided by supervisor / direct manager (Q22) Professional supervision provided by line manager (Q29) Professional supervision provided by internal supervisor (Q30) Professional supervision provided by external supervisor (Q31)

Overall workforce (n=271-1,500)*

75%

76%

78%

86%

Specialist family violence victim survivor services (n=94-576)

75%

77%

82%

86%

Specialist family violence perpetrator services / Men's behaviour change
(n=48-195)

73%

76%

75%

83%

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (n=6-38)

63%

67%

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)
Alcohol or other drug services (n=9-41)

83%

75%

Supressed (low sample size)

86%

Victims assistance (n=7-37)

73%

56%

Supressed (low sample size)

60%

Peak body (n=3-45)

76%

88%

Supressed (low sample size)

88%

Women’s health (n=4-37)

70%

75%

Supressed (low sample size)

88%

Child protection (n=4-14)

86%

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Community health (n=17-110)

70%

67%

94%

93%

Courts and court services (n=17-84)

69%

79%

71%

71%

Family safety contact (n=6-37)

70%

82%

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Hospital (n=9-71)

77%

64%

93%

Supressed (low sample size)

Housing / Social housing / Homelessness (n=6-54)

78%

84%

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)
Legal services (n=18-116)

74%

68%

61%

79%

LGBTIQ services (n=4-25)

68%

82%

Supressed (low sample size)

90%

Mental health services (n=11-44)

70%

62%

100%

92%

Multicultural or settlement services
(n=1-16)

63%

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Older people (including elder abuse) services (n=1-15)

87%

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Supressed (low sample size)

Education and training provider (family violence) (n=6-37)

76%

73%

Supressed (low sample size)

91%

Sexual assault services (n=20-72)

81%

78%

80%

90%
Regional integration (n=0-14) 93% Supressed (low sample size) Supressed (low sample size) Supressed (low sample size)

Footnotes

  1. Reflective practice, also referred to as critical reflection or reflexivity, is a process of self-examination by a practitioner about their own work; becoming self-aware, considering their thoughts, feelings and assumptions, and examining how these impact upon their work.
  2. Q23. In your current role, do you provide or receive professional supervision? Multiple responses accepted (n=1,475)

Reviewed 09 July 2021